Director- Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL), August 2021 – NGO Jobs


DAI upholds the highest ethical standards. We are committed to the prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment as well as other ethical breaches. All our positions are therefore subject to stringent vetting and reference checks.

Background: DAI Global Health seeks a Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Lead for an anticipated USAID integrated health and systems strengthening program based in Malawi. The activity is meant to accelerate reductions in maternal, newborn, and child mortality and morbidity by increasing the capacity of Government of Malawi institutions and local organizations to introduce, deliver, scale up, and sustain the use of evidence-based, quality maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) services, voluntary family planning, (FP) and reproductive health (RH) care.

The activity will work with local partners and health system counterparts to strengthen health services and systems to effectively manage resources and deliver high-impact health interventions.

The MERL Lead will act as the lead for all project related monitoring and evaluation, including implementation of the Activity Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Plan. The lead will also direct the overall learning agenda and knowledge management plan with project leadership, local implementing partners, and USAID and will oversee all field research, is contingent upon donor approval and funding.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

· With the Chief of Party, guide collaboration, learning, and adaptation and ensure the project continually uses evidence-based learning to inform implementation and adaptation.

· Update the annual MERL plan, ToC and log frame indicators and ensure compliance with program needs and donor requirements.

· Lead formative research in target regions, including participatory action research

· Provide mentorship and ensure compliance with ethical research and personal identifiable information guidelines.

· Lead the design and implementation of baseline, mid-term, and end line assessments, including a longitudinal study, in target and non-target areas to demonstrate impact.

· Create and implement data collection tools, surveys and guides to ensure accurate and compliant data collection.

· Apply qualitative and quantitative methods to gather and analyze data from local partner activity reporting, including mechanisms to monitor referral linkages outside the project’s direct activities

· Serve as the lead for data collection, analysis, and data quality assessment.

· Work with the project team to gather and apply feedback from beneficiaries and key stakeholders to improve project activities.

· Work with project team to periodically review project performance data and integrate recommendations to ensure adaptive management.

· Supervise the MEL team and mentor all project staff and local implementing partners in MEL, data analysis and use, and data quality assurance.

· Continually monitor MERL capacity gaps and advise consortium partners on strategies to address them.

· Review and update the knowledge management plan

· Serve as a central point for data requests during review missions (e.g. baselines, assessments, annual reviews).

· Facilitate regular external learning forums and knowledge sharing through multiple channels, including in person learning showcases, publications, and online.

· Responsible for monthly, quarterly, annual, and final progress reporting.

· Other duties as assigned by the Chief of Party


· Prior experience in a Senior MERL position, preferably for a USAID – or other donor-funded health program; experience managing multisectoral health programs

· Familiarity with USAID ADS 201 including reporting requirements and systems

· Familiarity with Malawi health sector reporting systems and data sources preferred

· Prior experience strengthening the MEL, data analysis, and data use capacity of staff and local partners

· Prior experience conducting MEL across states

· Experience with qualitative and quantitative research methods, statistical analysis, and data analysis software

· Experience leading development of large qualitative and quantitative assessments in multiple geographies.

· Experience working on activities which support Youth development and access to services preferred.

· Advanced degree in relevant social sciences

DAI is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a commitment to diversity. DAI does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, parental status, veteran status, or other non-merit factors.


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